Former teacher indicted on sexual battery charges

From Walton Tribune Staff reports

Ryan Rickard of Bishop has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual battery against underage victims in Walton, Oconee and Morgan counties.

The crimes spanning the three counties resulted in a concurrent sentence of 25 years with a 15-year cap on prison, meaning he will go to prison for 15 years and spend 10 years on probation. When released, he will be on the sex-offender registry.

This was a plea deal agreed upon by the three judicial circuits.

“Yesterday, Feb. 23, Ryan Rickard entered a guilty plea in Morgan County for his cases in Morgan, Walton and Oconee Countie,” said Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randy McGinley on Friday. “In the Walton County case, Rickard pleaded guilty to counts of sexual asault of a student. He was sentenced to 25 years with the first 15 years in prison in the Walton County case.

This was part of a plea to all three cases in all three counties. All three DA’s offices, the GBI and the victims approved of this resolution.

“I want to thank the GBI. Their hard work allowed this case to reach an appropriate resolution that gave closure to the victims. I also want to thank the Morgan County District Attorney’s Office (of the Ocmulgee Circuit). They did much of the heavy lifting in the prosecution of Rickard and were excellent advocates for the victims,” McGinley said.

Rickard left North Oconee in the mid-2010s to accept a job as an assistant principal at Morgan County High School in Madison, where he was eventually investigated by the GBI. The accusations against him in Oconee County were discovered only after his arrest in Morgan County.

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